What is St. Petersburg Free Clinic Beacon House?
Established in 1997, Free Clinic Beacon House provides safe, supportive, transitional shelter to single, homeless men. Beacon House serves up to 25 men at any one time. Residents work with staff to set goals, save money and work toward independent living.
With the aid of the Beacon House, men are motivated and guided through the process of transitioning from homelessness to long term housing independence and financial stability. The structure provided by the staff and a community of men with similar desires stimulates hard work, accountability and success.
In the last year, Free Clinic Beacon House assisted 110 homeless men as they worked towards stability.
Michael immigrated to the United States three years ago from Sierra Leone because he feared for his life if he stayed. For the first two and a half years, he lived with a Liberian family. Things were stable until the day his temporary family decided to move. He became homeless, stressed, hopeless, and afraid. He was unsure what his next step should be, until he discovered the Beacon House.
He describes his experience in the Beacon House with the emotional aspects overpowering all else. “I was welcomed with open arms, and love bigger than what I ever dreamed of.” Michael was helped to acquire his working authorization from immigration, state identification card, GED, and a job. These four essentials were more than Michael had ever expected from a nonprofit community. He explained, “I was looking for a home, they gave me more than that; I was looking for a shoulder to lean and cry on, they wiped away my sorrow. I was looking for brothers and family, and they gave me more than what I hoped for.”